He glances up from the novel and peers out the old wooden windows, not believing his senses. No sound of rain falling for the first time in days. The clouds are moving quickly across the treeline, and a faint trail can be seen.

“Time to get outdoors before you go stir crazy…”

The thick clouds hide the great Mount Hood, yet he knows the formidable summit is before him.

” I can feel it.”

The ascent quickly takes his breath away as he makes the way slowly past the treeline and into the rocky Tundra. Vision is limited to only a few yards. He comes upon great glacial canyons carved out by ice and wind. Standing on the precipice, he hears the voices.

“It’s only the altitude, and you’re out of shape, lack of oxygen. Nothing more old fool…”

Everything is becoming unclear, tree’s appear alive with outstretched branches calling him to come closer. Animals morph into rocks, or maybe vice versa. Onward and upward, sanity be damned.

“I will strike down my enemy upon the mountain!”

Out of nowhere, snow starts to fall, the wind blows with hurricane force.

“God is wiping me from existence.”

Shelter appears out of nowhere, at least his brain tells him so. Trudging through the storm to the dark shadow above…..

Resting in the lee of the abandoned ski lodge, he takes deep breaths to get his head on straight.

” I know who I am….”

The voices scream indifferently, aging the man. He feels the wrinkles form, deepening the lines on his weary face.

The person descending the mountain is not the same as the one who started the climb.

“I’ve seen my destiny.”


Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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